Posts Tagged ‘California’

CALIFORNIA: There’s Some Damn Good Fishing Going On in the Bay Right Now

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle said, “There’s some damn good fishing going on in the bay right now, although Thursday’s 10-11 weather wasn’t very nice.” He said, “Three customers went halibut fishing at Angel Island, and they all took limits with the fish at 30, 22, 19, 19, and 16-pounds with three others between 15 and 8-pounds. They were using a combination of Loch Lomond shiners or  tray herring. Fraser said, “There are plenty of stripers at the Brothers and the Whaling Station, and a slow, but steady, stream of salmon have been taken from California City.” He really likes the tides for next week for sturgeon with the minuses starting on Sunday, and his mud shrimp supplier is working feverishly to get the bait on the airplane to Loch Lomond by Friday afternoon. Mudsuckers, bullheads, or shiners are all plentiful in the Loch Lomond bait tanks.

Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker ‘knows’ there are bass in the bay, and he plans on testing his knowledge on Saturday and Sunday. The larger tides will push the bass into the rocks in search of bait and Jim says the reefs and rockpiles are the place to be on this next set of bigger tides. Jim also still has lots of room open for the opening weekend of the Dungeness crab season. He will be targeting both rockfish, lings and crabs on these trips through Christmas but for the best and biggest crabs anglers will want to book early before the commercial season gets under way.

USA Fishing


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CALIFORNIA: Upper Owens River Seeing Trophy Brown Trout

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

The Upper Owens is fishing great right now and we are seeing some trophy brown trout here.

Upper Owens River
Conditions are good on the Upper Owens with some trophy browns already migrating upstream from Crowley Lake. I would however, like to see some more water coming down this time of year. Nymphing the deeper pools has been productive in the sections above and below the Benton Crossing Bridge. The UO has been well planted with catchable rainbows this summer, and I am observing a healthy population of wild browns this season thanks to an abundance of water last fall combined with a mild winter. I like bird’s nest and flashback PT patterns #14-20 fished below an Under-cator. We did well on a recent trip here and never changed a twin Assassin rig. There are some excellent surface opportunities using caddis adults, hoppers, and smaller mayflies. The streamer fishing is also picking up and will get progressively better as the water begins to cool and we enter the early fall spawning cycle. I have good reports that the reliable Loeberg fished with a light sinking tip line while using the “dip & strip” along the deeper cut banks fooled a bunch of rainbows near the monument section below the bridge. There are some complicated angling regulations along the Upper Owens as it is divided into four sections, (Big Springs, Long Years, the campground, monument) with a closed area at the end of September-please know the regs before you cast!

Crowley Lake

The lake is beginning to turn green with a moderate algae bloom taking place. It is not horrendous as of this report, however you can expect the condition to get a little worse in some areas as the water temps begin to cool. The lake continues to drop as outlet flows on the Lower Owens remain at 530cfs. The weed lines are still present in McGee Bay, Hilton Bays, the inlet section in the north arm, and Layton Springs. The influence of the inlets is significantly less than last week and as cooler surface temps begin to show, you’ll see less concentrations close to the inlets and more fish holding around deeper water like Sandy Pt., Six Bays, the Hilton’s and Alligator Pt. You will see weed in water depths of 6 feet and less currently with the perch fry hunters prowling along these edges during low light periods. Streamer fishing is picking up, and I suggest Loebergs and Punk Perch patterns #10-14 fished along the weed lines early & late afternoon, put on a heavier sinking tip and move out to 12-15 feet as the sun gets higher with the same patterns, or a damselfly nymph and chironomid as a trailer. Still water nymphing remains slow to very good depending on the weather. With the water level dropping the twin punk perch, or PP & a bird’s nest have not been as productive recently and we have been fishing primarily gillies and broken backs on the mud flats.

Those of you with boats need to be very cautious when traveling around the Hilton’s, or on a direct course from the marina towards McGee Bay. There is some very low water and a high spot smack dab in the middle of the lake off Big Hilton that is less than 3 feet currently. The peninsula’s around the Hilton’s extend for a long distance and are VERY shallow, so give them a wide berth while traveling around these locations.

San Joaquin River

The San Joaquin is in better shape than most of the other freestone creeks with regards to flows. Fishing remains very good with excellent access in all areas. It is definitely cooling off in the mornings here so wet wading early can be uncomfortable. The extended period of T-storms has ended and it looks like we are saying good bye to the monsoons that have helped keep the fire danger down in this region. I like mayflies and caddis adults fished with a 5X- 9 foot mono leader. #16-18 patterns will get you more grabs, however there are times when you can do well using a #12/14 Stimulator with, or without a bead head PT as a dropper. Whenever possible position yourself at the base of a run and make your presentations upstream targeting the fish close by, then work progressively upstream towards the saaaweet spot! You will be pleasantly surprised at how many more fish you will rise by using this strategy.

East Walker River

We are seeing some pretty skinny water for this time of year as flows have dropped to 80cfs currently. It is cooling down here and we will soon see better water conditions as the lake turns over and the weed and algae situation diminish. Low flows in the summer and winter make the fish concentrate in the deeper pools and runs. It also triggers instinctual migration behavior as fish will work upstream towards the flow source if conditions become unfavorable in downstream areas. We are coming into hopper with a dropper time, especially at these lower flow rates. Fishing this rig along the shadows of some thick willows, or along a grassy lined under cut bank can pay off with a big brown. You may also consider using a damsel adult in the same areas. Fishing dries like caddis adults and smaller PMD or Trico mayfly patterns are also productive in the early fall, we are a month away from a significant BWO emergence unless it cools down rapidly. Tandem nymph rigs using midge, mayfly, and caddis larva or pupa patterns will always work in the deeper lays on the EW, you just need to keep them clean and close to the bottom. With all the weed and algae on the rocks this can be difficult at times and in certain sections.

Lower Owens River

At current release rates of 530cfs wading sucks in the wild trout section. We did a couple drifts just as the flows began to rise and they did not fish well as one might expect. The flows appear to have peaked for about a week now and as the weather cools we are looking forward to an excellent early fall drift boat season. Mid September is promising to be great for fishing the LO, and we should have some fun with surface opportunities as well as streamers.

The Bridgeport Marina has a new high outflow well and Jeffery is loving it! This will give customers at the RV Park all the water they need-let’s hope mother nature helps the Sierra out this winter too!

Bridgeport Reservoir

Jeffery at the marina has pulled the boat docks due to low water levels, but can still launch rentals from the beach. He reports fishing is picking up for trollers and still fishers, but remains slow for fly fishers at this time. As the surface temps cool, we will see the fish concentrated towards the dam and public launch ramp making it easy for tubers to hit those big fall browns. The marina has a fly box with streamers, dries, nymphs & Under-cators that will work on the Bridge or the EW. Go give him a BAAAH for me and he will show you his new water well with all the water you could want for the RV Park!

Hot Creek

Getting pretty tough here in the public section due to low flows and protruding weeds making extended dead drifts difficult with only about half the usual spots fishable. Good casters with polished mending skills can still have fun with small may fly, caddis and midge adults. The deeper pools are holding most of the fish and they are best plied with tandem nymph rigs, with or without an indicator. I like #18 Assassins and broken back zebras as sub-surface patterns on HC.

Alpine Lakes

Some of these beautiful lakes have very low water levels due to the poor snow pack and releases for water demands. I suggest you check with individual resorts to see how boat launching and access are for each location. The DFG & IAG (private trout growers) continue to do regular plantings with some extra fish going into the more popular locations for the Labor Day Weekend. The T-storms have given way to some cooler mornings at elevations, with very nice afternoons. Full sinking lines using streamer patterns like Agent Orange, Crystal Leeches, & Loebergs work well along the drop-offs and inlets. Late afternoon or early mornings before the sun gets too high will also provide opportunities to use a dry dropper combo casting to rising fish that are sipping on callibaetis and midge emergers. Use a high vis mayfly imitation that is well doused with a desiccant, and tie a midge pupa or emerger pattern #20-22 below about 2-3 feet. Deadly on some of these lakes during the right conditions.

Adobe Pond

Went out to Dobe a week ago and was very happy to see conditions very good even though it was really hot late morning. The wild browns are definitely larger this season averaging 12 inches.

Capt. Tom Loe
Sierra Drifters Guide Service
p: 760-935-4250


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CALIFORNIA: Horseshoe Bend – Big Striper (27.5lbs/44-in) Caught on Frozen Shad

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Allison Shawnego of Hap’s Bait in Rio Vista said a big striper at 27.5-pounds/44-inches was caught and kept by a Stockton resident on frozen shad in Horseshoe Bend on Monday. The angler’s name won’t be mentioned, but I am disappointed that this fisherman is from my hometown. It does make sense however, as the Stockton Chapter of the California Striped Bass Association is the only chapter that promotes a big fish derby in spite of the State Board’s recommendations. Some large salmon to 28-pounds have been taken out of Viera’s Resort near Isleton, but there are about one salmon for every eight boats trying. Shawnego said, “We are selling lots of pile worms, blood worms, night crawlers, mudsuckers, and frozen shad.”

For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, has been out several times this week during the heat wave, and he said, “You have to be very accurate with your casts in these flat calm conditions.” Moving the bait through the strike zone in a slow, methodical manner is the best technique, and Pringle advised using bluegill, perch, or crawdad imitation lures with the bass loading up on these baits. He has been scoring with the new ima Floating Flit worked similar to a floating Rebel by tossing it up against the banks on the high water and pulling it down to 6 feet in depth and letting it float up again. The new lure has either a yellow or red bill, and it resembles bluegill or a perch. The cold weather in the mornings, including tule fog on Wednesday morning, has slowed the top water bite to a crawl. He has found a good bite on the Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper in June Bug on a Zappu Head at depths from 5 to 15 feet using 8-pound test. They have had 50 fish days throughout the week with the better cut of fish on the bluegill or crawdad patterns. Pringle added, “When the wind does blow, the reaction bite with spinnerbaits or crankbaits is a good option.”

USA Fishing.com


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CALIFORNIA: River Salmon Season Opened

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

The in river salmon season opened on July 16th with good numbers of salmon taken where I was fishing.

Rip Their Lips Off guide service scored with nice limits up to 18lbs and followed that up with good fishing on the 17th with a solid 1 1/2 fish per rod average.

This looks to be a fantastic year, so get on board and enjoy the ride!

Capt. David Mierkey
Rip Their Lips Off Guide Service
p: 209-483-1725


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CALIFORNIA: Sacramento/Feather Rivers – Fat Fish Around 16 pounds

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

On Tuesday, Scott Feist was back over on the Feather for the third day in a row.

On Sunday he was fishing as high as Boyds but today was on the lower river due to the dropping flows. Once again Scott reported limits of fat fish to around 16 pounds. Scott says over the past three days they have released close to 50 fish on top of their eazzzzy limits. With the dropping flows he expects that Wednesday will be the last day of fishing on the Feather (until flows get boosted again) and he will be switching over to the Sac.

Joel Shangle from Northwest Wild Country Radio out of Seattle WA from holding a 16 pound hen caught today with Scott on the Feather River today.

Speaking of the Sac, Dave Jacobs also reported limits on the lower Sac today. he was fishing below Grimes and reports that flows here too are dropping and the fish are backing down the river a few miles each day. There are a few spawns taking place but with fresh fish still pushing up there is some time left.
Bob Bradbury of Johnson’s Bait and Tackle in Yuba City reported excellent striper action on both the Sacramento and Feather Rivers. He went out on Saturday, and they limited out quickly on live minnows. They have been selling thousands of their hardy minnows per day to meet the huge demand. The word of the great bite was leaked on Saturday, and the river was loaded with boats on Sunday, putting down the bite a bit on the Feather. The flows have decreased, and the fish should be running back downstream into the Sacramento. Anchovies, sardines, and pile worms are working on the Sacramento River. He said, “There are a lot of fish in the system.”

 

USA Fishing.com


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CALIFORNIA: 2012 Promises to be a Great Fishing Year for Several Reasons

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Howdy friends and Sierra Drifters. Best fishes to all in 2012, we wish you a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year. Special thanks to those of you who have supported us in 2011. We are looking forward to making memorable fishing adventures for you again in the New Year.

2012 promises to be a great fishing year for several reasons. The hatchery issues that hampered planting of some popular areas in 2010/2011 have for now been addressed and several top fisheries are now getting good allotments of DFG trout. Crowley and Bridgeport will fish much better in 2012 due to the increased amounts of sub-catchable trout released last summer and fall. There remain some environmental concerns with hatchery programs that may hinder some privately owned and operated fisheries. We will inform you of the changes as we get them.

We are having a very mild winter thus far in the Eastern Sierra. The huge run-off from last winter’s massive snowpack had some negative impacts on many fisheries that lasted well into the fall. Hopefully we will begin to get normal amounts of precipitation soon which will lead to a seasonal pattern of run-off. Long range forecasts are pointing towards a more normal weather cycle to begin next month.

The mild winter to this point has allowed an extended growing season that will enhance the size and health of the trout in many areas, especially the larger lakes and reservoirs. The fall spawn has been fantastic due to higher water levels and ideal conditions in wild trout fisheries like the East Walker, Hot Creek, and Upper Owens. We are really looking forward to 2012 and the potential for one of the best fishing seasons in several years. Hope to see you on the water!

Please give positive thoughts and prayers to our great friend Bill Becher and his wife Jane. Bill survived a very serious climbing accident a short time ago and is seriously injured. Bech has been a tremendous asset to the Eastern Sierra from his writing, photography, and computer networking skills. He has helped many people through his perspective and participation of numerous sports to get an accurate and creative view of the Sierra from someone who writes firsthand about his topics. Keep the good juju coming friends so we can get Bill back to doing his thing!

Upper Owens River:
WOW. I have experienced some great fishing in the Sierra over the past 35 years, but I must say that the winter of 2011-12 will perhaps be one of the most memorable due to the fantastic fishing we have experienced on the UO recently. The weather although very cold most mornings, has been extremely pleasant by noon and when you throw in twenty plus inch rainbows consistently, you have found Nirvana! A big day can have you into double digit hogs and a very sore arm. An average guide day will get you 1-6 opportunities at the bigs; they are not easy to land. These are powerful thick bodied wild fish that pull like a blue water tug boat!

Nymphing with San Juan Worms, Assassins, FB Pt’s, broken back midges, and egg patterns heavily weighted are fooling these migratory rainbows coming upstream from Crowley Lake. The thicker the ice gets on Crowley, the more fish move up. I believe we have not peaked yet and if the last couple seasons hold true January/February will get even better weather permitting. On the warmer days you will see a solid hatch of small midges and the fish are sipping them in the softer pools. #22 parachutes work well. The baetis hatch is also getting attention with the adults emerging about 1:30. BWO patterns #18. You need to be dressed for EXTREME cold some mornings for the next couple months. Layered hooded clothing and rubber soled wading boots are a must.

The Lower O is fishing very well for numbers and the weather has been absolutely fantastic. The bigs have been camera shy recently; however we are hooking a couple most drifts. Flows are excellent and have been holding at 125cfs at PV for a while. Streamers like Spruce-A-Bu’s, Loebergs, Punk Perch #8-12 have been best for us with a moderate sinking tip line and the “dip and strip” method. Focus on the deeper pools, the riffle water has not been productive lately even during the hatches of midges and mayflies. The wild trout section is also fishing well and there is some surface action around 1 pm each day. Nymphing in this section with or without an Under-Cator using FB PT’s, crystal midges, crystal caddis larva, birds nest (Assassins), and broken back patterns work well. Keep them heavily weighted and near the bottom as the fish are not moving a lot out of the deeper pools.

PV has been really good in the small creek section just below the powerhouse using dry/dropper bead head combos. A Para BWO or Stimulator as the upper and a FB PT or crystal tiger midge or crystal caddis larva as the dropper. The reservoir is still at high levels and access to the transition water near the inlet is difficult right now with limited areas to fish from the bank. Ideal level is 4383′ and under. A float tube in this section is a must for consistent results. The warm weather is nice for tubing and far from the “freeze tubing” experience that is typical for winter here. The level has been coming down slowly and it will not be long if this trend continues before the transition area will be the hot place to fly fish in the Sierra. Check out my Facebook link periodically for updates here.

The Gorge is also fun and fishing like mid- fall instead of winter. Hit the period of the day between 10-2 and you should see some decent surface action on midges and #18 BWO patterns. The deeper pools will also hold more fish and can be fished with bead head nymphs below a dry. If you do not mind hiking you will escape the holiday crowds in the more popular year around waters. Try Lower Gorge up from the powerhouse. Walk twenty minutes from the furthest parking area. It is very consistent for small wild browns upstream from here with lots of nice pools and runs.

Hot Creek:
The flows are well above their historical average for this time of year. We are seeing some run-off due to the warm temps above the inversion layer making Mammoth creek higher than usual. Been pretty good overall down in the canyon with a decent midge and mayfly emergence on the warmer days. You will still find more consistent action in the deeper pools while nymphing near the bottom. SJ worms and a small midge, PT, birds nest, or broken back will get you looks.

East Walker River:
We have not fished it for over a month, just been too darn good on the Owens. Flows are not bad for winter, 25 cfs and with the warmer days nymphing the deepest holes can be productive right below the dam. The Bridgeport area can get wicked cold this time of year with the temperature inversion being amplified by cold and clear windless mornings. Sub-zero temps are common currently so if you want to fish it I suggest look at the Nevada section which is much warmer and lower in elevation. Otherwise the 11-4 period is best.

Thanks for reading our report, hope to fish with you soon.

Capt. Tom Loe
Sierra Drifters Guide Service
p: 760-935-4250



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CALIFORNIA: San Juan Worms, Broken Back Midges All Getting Grabs

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

The Upper Owens continues to kick out quality trophy sized rainbows and the weather remains extremely mild for December. The water can become off colored at times below the confluence of Hot Creek due to mild run-off. We are finding this actually makes the big bows less spooky and easier to approach. Flashback nymph patterns, light colored egg imitations, San Juan Worms, broken back midges are all getting grabs.

Flows on the Lower Owens continue to be ideal for waders and bank fisherman. The weather has been awesome in the Owens Valley with mild afternoon temps triggering a solid midge and small may fly hatch daily. Streamer fishing from the drift boat has been excellent and the numbers of medium sized rainbows and browns coming to net are the best we have seen in several years.

Hot Creek has been off colored at times but the fish are still actively feeding on the surface. 10-2 will get you in the sweet spot of the day. Para-midges, small mayflies #20-24 are the bug de’jour currently.

East Walker release rates remain very low so look for the fish to be concentrated in only the deepest pools. The mild winter is keeping the trout far more active than in years past. Mornings are still very cold in
Bridgeport but as the sun climbs air temps become very pleasant. Redundant drifts with midge and mayfly nymphs #16-20, properly weighted to keep your rig near or on the bottom will get you into fish consistently on the “Miracle Mile”

Pleasant Valley Reservoir has been very good near the launch ramp and inlet section for tubers and shore fisherman. Streamers #8-12 used with a full sinking line will get takes when fished along the drop-offs. The small creek section emanating immediately below the powerhouse has also been productive for those wading in the brush. Dry/dropper bead head nymph rigs are deadly in this area. The reservoir proper is very high currently and is making access difficult in the “transition” area between the lake and the river.

The Gorge is fishing very well for this time of year due to the mild weather. The wild browns are consistently rising to midges and small mayflies in the softer, deeper pools. This is a great time of year to hike in and hit some less trafficked water. The foliage becomes less a factor in the winter. No significant snow or ice here to hinder your walk in.

Merry Fish-Mas!

Capt. Tom Loe
Sierra Drifters Guide Service
p: 760-935-4250


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CALIFORNIA: Owens Rivers – Pheasant Tail Patterns are Good Choices

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Every season is a little different but the fall of 2011 will be one I shall remember for a while. Typically fishing begins to slow down on both the Upper and Lower O, however this fall it has done exactly the opposite. Both sections are fishing at their best right now and if you do not mind cold morning air temperatures, the fishing will warm you up as soon as you get into some of the trophy fish we have been seeing on a regular basis recently.

Flows have dropped to very low releases on the Lower O (105cfs) as of this report. Wading is gravy combined with the pleasant weather the Owens Valley has been experiencing. I see a fair amount of BWO mayfly adults and midges emerging daily so don’t put that dry shake or desiccant away just yet. Nymphing with smaller birds nest or pheasant tail patterns are good choices, as well as some #16-22 crystal midge patterns, or broken back flies like the dark zebra or tiger.

The guided drift trips have been excellent and a most pleasant surprise with consistent bigs showing on most drifts since the flows crashed in early December. Moderately weighted sinking tip lines used in conjunction with the “dip and strip” technique have been producing good numbers and the large rainbows shown on this report. I have been using my Spruce-A-Bu pattern for most of the day, with a change late afternoon at times to a Loeberg. Both flies are taking the bigs consistently in the deeper secluded pools.

Capt. Tom Loe
Sierra Drifters Guide Service
p: 760-935-4250


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CALIFORNIA: Sturgeon and Stripers Being Taken in the Napa River

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Joel Sinkay of Leonard’s Bait in Port Sonoma said, “ The sturgeon bite has begun with multiple limits being reported from the Pump House area of the San Pablo Bay with ghost shrimp, grass shrimp, or eel.

SInkay continues to catch and release legal stripers from the bait shop dock with grass shrimp, but pile worms and bullheads are also excellent choices. He added that, “Sonoma Creek has been good if you don’t have access to a boat, and sturgeon and stripers are being taken in the Napa River near the Highway 37 Bridge”

The Petaluma River has been a popular area for fishermen trying to get out of this week’s winds with reports of sturgeon starting to trickle in. Sinkay has ‘stuffed the tanks’ with bait.

USA Fishing.com


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CALIFORNIA: Choose to Nymph With or Without the Use of an Under-Cator

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Howdy Friends and Sierra Drifters. The guide staff at Sierra Drifters wishes you all a happy and healthy holiday season.

The general trout season has ended in the Eastern High Sierra, but there remain quality moving water fisheries that are open year around. The Upper & Lower Owens Rivers are my favorite places to guide and fish in the winter and fall as they fish very well this time of year. The East Walker River and Hot Creek also remain open year around and have excellent fly fishing opportunities during warm spells. Pleasant Valley Reservoir and the Gorge add additional options for float tubing and fishing smaller water for wild brown trout.

A series of winter storms is forecast to begin sliding through the region and dropping significant snow totals on the mountains and upper valleys for the Thanksgiving holiday period. Bring along tire chains and winter gear if you are planning a trip in the near future.

This is a shot of the re-watered irrigation ditch taken mid-November near the Long Years section of the Upper Owens. The pool directly below this culvert had an estimated 200 trout trapped in it before the re-watering occurred. I counted only three the last time I looked! Once again thanks go to the LADWP and local ranchers for their assistance and understanding in this matter. They bypassed traditional protocol and this should be noted. I have checked the area out several times since the water was flowing again and very pleased to report that most of the trout and small forage fish trapped in this area have re-located and gone back into the river channel proper. We did lose some fish (most were sticklebacks) trapped in another ditch that had to be de-watered to maximize flow in the main irrigation channel, however the bulk of the trout were able to find the river again.

Those of you who wrote letters and offered support should also be happy to hear that I have also had conversation with the local DFG biologist in Bishop and he has committed to assist in the implementation and monitoring of bio screens on these canals next spring. This will be a great conservation project for fly fishing clubs interested in preserving the established wild trout in the Upper Owens. Thanks for the help folks, MERRY FISHMAS!!!

Upper & Lower Owens Rivers
Fall is streamer time on these two awesome rivers and the “dip & strip” technique is an excellent method to get into some big rainbows and browns. Fishing from the deeper main channel side with an upstream position is necessary on the smaller Upper Owens, while seeking the softer edges and transitions will pay off on the larger & deeper Lower Owens.

GUIDE TIP: Scout a section out by quietly walking upstream and locating trout holds before you make any casts. Double back and fish your section downstream after 30 minutes using the “dip & strip” with a light to moderate sinking tip line. Streamers should have some red or orange in them, be in the #6-10 range, & be fished from an upstream position with the fly “swinging” into the sweet spots you have located. DO NOT CAST ON TOP OF THE LAYS.

If you choose to nymph with or without the use of an Under-Cator- I suggest San Juan Worms, egg patterns, bird’s nest, broken back midges and FB pheasant tails #14-18. Reverse the scouting procedure and spot your fish for that “beat” while walking downstream. Wait a spell, and then fish your tandem nymph rigs walking upstream and targeting the holes where you observed fish keeping a low profile and having some patience so the fish get acclimated to your presence. These upstream fish are not accustomed to being in low clear water having emanated from Crowley, and are far spookier than most resident fish in a stream.

On the warmer days I am seeing a fair amount of small mayflies nicknamed Trico’s, #20-24. Both the UO & LO has this hatch presently. The fish move right into the tailouts and under the foam lines during the hatch. “The foam is home-don’t roam from the foam” during any significant emergence.

Drift boating has been very good this fall and is even getting better as the flows trend downward. We can position the boats to keep the streamers in the sweet spots far better than from the bank. The “Kelly Bundy” light Spruce-a-bu has been hot on the LO, while Loebergs are spanking them on the UO. The LO is still high for wading but is getting better and if you see the flows go below 300 before mid-December I would make a point to fish the WT section as pressure has been exceptionally light here this season.

We worked out a deal with Santa and can provide custom gift certificates for friends and loved ones this holiday season. Contact us for details.

I have several USED SAGE Z-AXIS 590-4 rods and GALVAN T-5 reels for sale. These rigs are being sold separately or as a balanced package. They would make a terrific X-mas or birthday gift and come with full manufacturer’s warranties at greatly reduced prices. I have two seasons on these rigs and they are in very good condition. The reels come with a used floating line and backing in good condition. Contact me for pricing and details please.

Pleasant Valley Reservoir:
Power generation is finally slowing down and this means excellent conditions on the inlet river to PV which just happens to be one of the best fly fishing areas in the Sierra and is very much under-rated and not well known.

I like to use a Stimulator #16-12 as the dry or indicator while suspending a bead head midge or mayfly nymph pattern #16-18 tied off the eye of the Stimmie 2-4 feet. This rig is flat out deadly here and you can have a blast if you locate feeding pods of trout.

The reservoir is also a great place to tube using a combination of still water nymphing and streamer tactics. The weather can get nice even in winter and tubing is a great way to get into big numbers. I have affectionately called it “freeze tubing”, but it really is not that bad on the nicer days. Most streamer patterns work well here #8-12 as the bulk of the fish are DFG plants and very opportunistic. I suggest you concentrate your efforts from the launch ramp towards the inlet from the powerhouse this time of year. Work the drop-offs on the west side opposite the access road to avoid bank fisherman and pick up the afternoon shadow emanating from the canyon wall.

Hot Creek:
It has been good for those who like fish fishing the tiny Trico mayfly hatch. Not everyone’s cup o’ tea as these little critters are #20-24 and are difficult to see and keep drag off during a drift. Nymphing with micro mayflies and small midges have also been good in the deeper channels and pools. Attractors like SJ worms and eggs also get their share for the staged up fish. When flows are at winter time rates it can be tough to get extended accurate drifts over and around the protruding weed beds. If we get some warmer weather flows come up some on Mammoth Creek and this makes conditions better. Hot Creek is not well known for its streamer fishing but I assure you it can be excellent in the right piece of water especially this time of year. Don’t show up with a type 5 or heavy sink tip and expect to get anything but the bottom. Have a slime line, or midge tip and you can do pretty good particularly if the water gets off color and comes up some.

The Gorge:
Every time I fish here after an extended absence I always tell myself that I need to come back more often. It requires some effort -the wild browns are not going to bend hooks out or anything; however they are all wild and as pretty as you will ever see. They aggressively take dries all year and you can have multiple hook ups in any pool that has three feet of water or more. Accurate, upstream casts are mandatory with a four weight rod or less. They are not especially choosey-use caddis, mayfly or attractor patterns #14-18, bead head nymphs in the #16-20 range will be fine.

East Walker:
If you have a serious Jones for the EW I suggest you look at the Nevada section until the flows come up over 50cfs. Tributary Sweetwater Creek adds more water to the EW on the old Rosachi Ranch section and I have found NV to fish much better than the Cal section under these conditions. Add to the fact that it is lower in elevation, hence warmer and with far less snow as a rule and you have a better experience during the winter. Bridgeport Reservoir is once again filling, and pretty quickly according to owner Jeffery at Bridgeport Marina (local sheep enthusiast as well) so I expect flows to come up some if we keep getting early snow. This may really bring on some great winter opportunities depending on an extended warm period after the fronts.

The ASSASSIN is now available!

This bird’s nest version has been my go to fly all season. You have seen pictures of the big browns and rainbows caught in many areas including Crowley Lake, Bridgeport Reservoir, Eagle Lake, Pyramid Lake, The Upper Owens and East Walker Rivers the last few years with ever increasing references made to a bird’s nest pattern. Well at long last here it is. Bird’s nest patterns are well documented over the years as a “strymph”. This type of fly can be interpreted as a small baitfish such as a chub, stickleback, or perch fry. It may also represent a larger swimming type nymph like a callibaetis or damsel fly. You can order it online direct from me, or in the near future get it at one of the shops carrying my fly patterns. The pattern is available in #14, 16, & 18 and comes in a light and dark version. This is a must pattern for local trout waters and will get you on fish when others are failing.

Be the fly friends, Tom Loe Sierra Drifters Guide Service

Capt. Tom Loe
Sierra Drifters Guide Service
p: 760-935-4250

 

 


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